Since they were introduced 60 years ago, antibiotics have been used to treat disease and infection ...
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Since they were introduced 60 years ago, antibiotics have been used to treat disease and infection caused by the family of germs called bacteria. However, some bacteria are not killed by antibiotics because they have mutations in their DNA, or biological makeup, that makes antibiotics ineffective. This drug resistance can be passed to their offspring into other microbes by direct transfer of DNA segments that contains the resistance mutation. As a result, some diseases that were once easy to treat are becoming harder to treat and more common. A particular concern are bacteria resistant to more than one antibiotic, known as MDRO's, known as Multi-Drug Resistant Organisms. Another concern is the so-called super bugs. Very common bacteria with a scientific name of Staphylococcus aureus, or more commonly called Staph. These super bugs are often called MRSA to indicate resistant to methicillin antibiotics. Possible reasons for why drug resistance develops in bacterial DNA includes failure to complete a full course of antibiotics so that some bacteria escape after drug exposure and inappropriate overuse of antibiotics for viral infections, like a cold. While drug companies search for new drugs to combat these resistant bacteria, hospitals and clinics are putting programs in place to limit their spread. Some countries have imposed strict regulations on use of drugs and agents that kill bacteria to slow development of even more resistant strains.